Credit: Tue Nam Ton for EdSource
Aubrey Layne, principal at Edna Brewer Middle School in Oakland, speaks with a teacher candidate at a job fair in 2016.

Nearly $100 million worth of new initiatives to address the state’s teacher shortages will be in play during state budget negotiations that will begin in earnest next week.

The Assembly is pushing for their inclusion. In its version of the 2017-18 spending plan, the Assembly Budget Committee last week approved five proposals, totaling $85 million, that primarily would create incentives for more science, math, special education and bilingual teachers in low-performing districts. Those are the subjects most affected by the shortage, which is not felt uniformly statewide. Regions hardest hit are Los Angeles and the Bay Area.

But the Assembly’s proposals may find themselves competing with a smaller scale plan, tapping $11 million in federal money. Gov. Jerry Brown included that plan in his May budget revision. The Senate Budget Committee included no money earmarked for the teacher shortage in the budget it passed.

Brown included no new money in his January budget to alleviate the teacher shortage, which primarily is hitting rural districts, high-cost regions like the Bay Area and Los Angeles and specific subject areas: science, math, and special education. Instead, Brown’s budget highlighted the $35 million investments passed last year. They include $20 million in financial incentives for classified workers to pursue a teaching credential, $10 million for universities to set up programs offering an undergraduate degree and a teaching credential in four years instead of five, and $5 million to revive a statewide teacher recruitment effort, the California Center on Teaching Careers.

Representatives of the Department of Finance said Brown wanted to see those programs roll out before adding new programs. But in the revised budget, Brown is proposing to create the California Educator Development program or CalED. It would fund 30 partnerships, ranging from $100,000 to $1.25 million, between school districts, charter schools and county offices of education and community colleges, universities or nonprofits to promote and develop teachers in high-needs fields and districts that have issued high numbers of emergency teaching credentials. The $11 million program would require matching money from grant recipients. The state portion would come from the state’s 2017-18 teacher training and development funding under federal Title II. President Donald Trump this week proposed eliminating the entire $2.4 billion program.

Proposed funding in the Assembly budget would include:

  • An additional $25 million to expand the credentialing program for classified employees in the current budget;
  • $25 million for districts to create teacher residency programs, which have a record of effectively helping to train and retain teachers. Located in more than a dozen districts already, residencies provide financial help and internships for aspiring teachers in the year they obtain their teaching credential, then mentoring for their first year or two in the classroom;
  • $25 million for a new Golden State Teacher Grant Program, championed by Assemblyman Patrick O’Donnell, D-Long Beach, in Assembly Bill 169. It would provide $20,000 in financial assistance to new STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) teachers who commit to teach four years in low-performing schools;
  • $10 million in professional development funding for bilingual teachers, who are expected to be in serious short supply as a result of the passage last year of Proposition 58, rescinding the ban on bilingual education.

The Assembly Budget Committee would fund the new teacher programs from the $1 billion in one-time money that Brown has proposed giving districts to spend as they choose. While budgeting that money for 2017-18, Brown wants to withhold the money until May 2019 in order to ensure that state revenue comes through as projected. Both the Senate and the Assembly budget committees are calling for giving districts the money next year – likely a big point of contention in budget negotiations.

Assembly members Kevin McCarty, D-Sacramento, and Shirley Weber, D-San Diego, two members of the education subcommittee of the Assembly Budget Committee who advocated for the teacher shortage proposals, will be among the conferees named to negotiate a budget with their Senate counterparts. The Legislature is required to pass a budget by June 15 for Brown’s consideration.

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  1. Iasha 4 months ago4 months ago

    When I think about the credentialing process and how much it is costing me to become a California school teacher, I constantly think again if it is worth it. This is my second year teaching on an emergency permit and yes I am a highly qualified teacher! Not because I passed the CSETs (which are useless and expensive) but because I used my years as a paraprofessional to support me as a new special … Read More

    When I think about the credentialing process and how much it is costing me to become a California school teacher, I constantly think again if it is worth it.
    This is my second year teaching on an emergency permit and yes I am a highly qualified teacher! Not because I passed the CSETs (which are useless and expensive) but because I used my years as a paraprofessional to support me as a new special education teacher. If I did not have those years as a trained paraprofessional under my belt I would have left the classroom a long time ago.
    My point is that colleges do not teach how to become a highly qualified teacher nor does passing ridiculous out-of-date testing. School districts should be allowed to handle the credentialing process and deem teachers qualified based on their character and dedication. I enjoy working in special education but cannot stand to see good people go because they can’t pass a crazy test that will not guarantee that they will stay even if they did. The whole credentialing process needs to be revamped. Heck, I don’t know if I can afford more out of pocket cost to take more tests and pass more classes!
    The financial burden to come into an already low paying field is just too much! This is most likely my last year as a teacher. It comes down to this question: Is education about the students or is it a business? I am inclined to believe the latter.

  2. Liz Guillen 6 months ago6 months ago

    The growing number of underprepared teachers teaching California’s students jeopardizes the state’s significant investments in LCFF, Common Core implementation, career pathways, as well as district investments in other priorities such as improving school climate and increasing A-G access. That’s why Public Advocates – along with eight other advocacy organizations across the state focused on greater equity in California’s schools – support the Assembly’s $85 million teacher shortage budget package. Substantial state investments are needed to … Read More

    The growing number of underprepared teachers teaching California’s students jeopardizes the state’s significant investments in LCFF, Common Core implementation, career pathways, as well as district investments in other priorities such as improving school climate and increasing A-G access. That’s why Public Advocates – along with eight other advocacy organizations across the state focused on greater equity in California’s schools – support the Assembly’s $85 million teacher shortage budget package.
    Substantial state investments are needed to boost the supply of teachers in high-need fields and schools who are well-trained and committed to stay. A teacher workforce for the public schools is a state obligation and should not be the responsibility of districts alone. Without state investments to boost teacher supply over the long-term, districts will continue to compete against each other and/or be forced to staff classrooms with underprepared teachers—and students will lose.

  3. Elizabeth 6 months ago6 months ago

    There needs to be a more balanced focus on teacher retention — not just on teacher recruitment. It is much less expensive — and more effective — to retain good teachers than it is to recruit new teachers, and having a strong, stable workforce of experienced teachers in a district or school makes it more attractive to new teachers to join and stay in the teaching profession. Stable communities of experienced teachers are also a … Read More

    There needs to be a more balanced focus on teacher retention — not just on teacher recruitment. It is much less expensive — and more effective — to retain good teachers than it is to recruit new teachers, and having a strong, stable workforce of experienced teachers in a district or school makes it more attractive to new teachers to join and stay in the teaching profession. Stable communities of experienced teachers are also a powerful force in helping to integrate new teachers into the profession.

  4. Ann Halvorsen 6 months ago6 months ago

    There is no forgivable loan (like former CSU APLE) nor is there any special grant support for prospective special educators other than to support classified staff to pursue any credentials. This special education shortage has existed in California for decades even through the recession when others were being laid off in thousands. CSU APLE and federal grants were our best incentives and are sorely missed. Recruitment numbers mirror that difference despite the plethora of jobs.

  5. Dennis Walters, aka Walt 6 months ago6 months ago

    And where does anybody mention the lack of skill-developing classes, old industrial arts classes, new CTE classes? These skill classes are closing or have closed due to the lack of teachers. The last real higher ed institution to offer a real industrial arts-type degree closed in the early '90s. Some schools say they offer the programs. Not even close to the old programs. How do we get 60 percent … Read More

    And where does anybody mention the lack of skill-developing classes, old industrial arts classes, new CTE classes? These skill classes are closing or have closed due to the lack of teachers. The last real higher ed institution to offer a real industrial arts-type degree closed in the early ’90s. Some schools say they offer the programs. Not even close to the old programs. How do we get 60 percent of the kids not going to a 4-year college right out of high school into a high-wage career without any choices in high school? We don’t.

  6. pb 6 months ago6 months ago

    Money isn’t everything. Who would want to deal with the hostility from today’s parents, administrators? As a teacher, you are the scapegoat for all societal problems! Additionally, you have to teach a millennial generation who is apathetic to anything outside of their smartphone!

  7. Luis Lopez 6 months ago6 months ago

    The state just cannot get out of its own way! How about eliminating BTSA programs that cost teachers $15,000, streamlining credentials, or paying charter schools and/or school districts to offer the bulk of credential work, and then raise state funding based on individuals' student growth? I know this hammers on professional carpetbagger sacred cows, but if schools can pay teachers more, and eliminate the bulk of the dismal state of credential programs, then guess … Read More

    The state just cannot get out of its own way!

    How about eliminating BTSA programs that cost teachers $15,000, streamlining credentials, or paying charter schools and/or school districts to offer the bulk of credential work, and then raise state funding based on individuals’ student growth? I know this hammers on professional carpetbagger sacred cows, but if schools can pay teachers more, and eliminate the bulk of the dismal state of credential programs, then guess what – recruitment might rise?
    Now those people in the universities and unions will fight this because of course, it’s their scared cows, but just look at the quality of the credential programs as they are – useless. Why would I , with a PhD in History, have to then go pay $20,000 for a credential? What pedagogical magic will a disconnected college professor who may have never been in the classroom teach me that I can’t learn from a book?
    California bureaucrats, and union-backed Democrats are far worse to this shortage than anything else.